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The Healthcare Influencer Series Part 5: Dr. Ilona Kickbusch

  • 16 May 2018
  • Expert Insights

This post is part of our new Healthcare Influencer series in which we interview the world's leading experts to get their take on the state of the industry, the top trends to watch for, and what the future holds.

The following is an interview we recently had with Dr. Ilona Kickbusch, Director of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland

1. How has the Healthcare industry evolved in the past 5 years?

IK: It has grown but not necessarily evolved. I think we are too focused on technological development from the perspective of the systems and the professionals and less from the side of the users. We also totally neglect the crisis that will be facing the industry for lack of workforce. The WHO has drawn attention to the fact that we work with an outdated model of human resources for health. It would be a great step forward if the digital transformation helped towards leaving the top-down, facility-based, doctor-dependent, disease-focused models of health care behind us

2. What are the top Healthcare-related technology trends you're seeing?


Citizens, patients and their family caregivers want and need support and we see new models emerging that help them with information, organization,  self-management and the like. Living with chronic disease is the priority healthcare issue at this point in time, and responding to this challenge will provide significant opportunities – but challenges will still emerge, because payment systems are not yet reimbursing this.

3. How will AI change the Healthcare industry?

IK: AI will reinforce the trend towards a flat healthcare system and the role of many health professionals will change significantly. AI will be all the more important as healthcare is increasingly organized at home and in the community. Waiting in a doctor’s office will be an unimaginable thing of the past. Hospitals will be revolutionized.

4. What's the future of Healthcare?

IK: It is flat, digital and patient-centered.

About Dr. Ilona Kickbusch

Prof. Dr. h.c. Ilona Kickbusch has contributed significantly to innovations for global health. She chairs the international advisory board that advises on the update of the German Global Health Strategy  and chairs the Council of the World Health Summit. She launched #WGH 100, one of the starting shots for greater gender equality in global health. She has long advocated for patient empowerment and works with the CAERUM Foundation and SCIANA to move this agenda forward. In 2016, she was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz).

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